It is not enough simply to denounce Pat Robertson over Haiti, says Spencer Dew. Without honest confrontation of the legacies of our past as a slave society, some 'they' will always be demonised and some 'devil' will always be imagined as a mask for our earthly hatreds and fears.
Today the organised ecumenical movement among Christians, seeking common witness and social justice, is seen by many as a failing, lost or irrelevant cause, says Keith Clements. But in a divided world, the case for a genuine search for unity among the churches in these islands and beyond is stronger than ever and needs radically renewing.
Deliberative assemblies should play a significant part in renewing democracy, says Stuart Weir, and most especially in agreeing a written constitution for the UK. They are at the core of the work of Power 2010, guided by James Fishkin.
Lord Carey's comments about immigration show him to be living in an unreal world, says Vaughan Jones. For displaced people this is an issue of life and death. Migration is not a game with numbers. It is an issue which requires serious moves towards international justice - and a basic Christian issue of neighbourly love.
Some American Christians are claiming that they are persecuted by 'the secular left' and other 'self-described' Christians, writes Martin Marty. There are real issues about how particular faiths should relate in a crowded and tense world; but they will not be resolved by over-heated rhetoric, or by confusing disagreements in plural societies with the suffering and even death faced by minorities in other parts of the world.
Ahead of his short debate on voting systems in the House of Lords on Monday 11th January 2009, independent peer Lord Alton warns that electoral reform based on cynical and belated attempts to sustain the hegemony of politicians will not suffice. Change has to be deep rooted to be sustainable. He also compares the STV and AV voting systems.
In these final days of the year, Christians who follow the church calendar remember that children were massacred by Herod 2000 years ago, says Gene Stoltzfus. The story has much to teach us about the inherent conflict between the Gospel and empire.
Post mortems about the Copenhagen Conference are well underway and there is much gloom, says Colin Morris. But there is also work to build on, and religious sensibility can play a key role in aiding real progress on climate change.
Christmas is actually much more about the real world than it is about a lovely story of far off places in far off times, says David Gamble. It demands faithful action for justice from us, not religious evasions.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is changing but, such change will take long years and further sacrifices, says regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian, surveying what seems like an endless tragedy at times. However, the length of such wars also depends on the involvement of outside powers – whether regional or global – as well as people on the ground in particular settings.
On 3rd July 2015, a group of leading Catholics wrote to Iain Duncan Smith regarding his welfare reforms.We are delighted that the Minister took the time to reply to the issues raised and have published his response here.However, we believe the Minister has missed the point on the harm he is causing. We have therefore sent him the following letter in reply.